Effect of dietary substitution of feather meal for fish meal on the performance of starter broilers
A total of 250 Anak broiler chicks were used in a 28 days feeding trial in a completely randomized design, in a deep litter house to assess the effect of replacing feather meal (FEM) for fish meal (FM) on the performance of broiler chicks. Five replacement levels of the formulated feed: 0%,
2.5%, 5%, 7.5% and 10% of FEM were used for treatments 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively with 0% FEM as control. Treatments were replicated thrice. The broiler chicks were fed the experimental birds four weeks after one-week stabilization period. Feeding and water supply were ad libitum,
while medication and vaccinations were appropriately applied. The deep litter house was provided with standard brooding facilities. Measurement of initial weights and final weights of birds were taken with a sensitive weighing balance (Salter brand) while mean daily weight gain, feed intake,
feed conversion ratio and feed cost per kg gain were calculated. Results showed that final live weights 865.00g, 855.00g, 842.00g, 833.70g and 756.75g for birds fed 0%, 2.5%, 5.0%, 7.5% and 10.0% FEM respectively varied significantly (p<0.05). Also significant differences (p<0.05)
were observed in daily feed intake, daily weight gain and feed cost/kg weight gain. Considering the results of final live weight and daily weight gain, it appeared that the 7.5% level of FEM is the optimal replacement level for FM.
Keywords: Feather meal, fishmeal, poultry feed, broiler chick